Monthly Photo & Video Subscriptions, A.K.A. Content for Days (and Days, and Days)! by Andrea Beça

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We've all heard it: Content is King/Queen - that is, it's everything nowadays. Long gone are the days where having a website was all a business needed to find an audience. Now we need to have a website in addition to a strong, authentic social media presence. You need to show your audience who you are, what you believe in, what you have to offer, and how your products or services can change the world. 

And let's face it, content is a lot of work. 

I think every business owner/social media manager has felt the struggle of creating new content, and staying on top of it. We've all had those, "Oh, shit!" moments when we realize it's been too long since we posted something new, or we're not sure what to post, or we were too busy doing the things to capture the things we did, and now the opportunity is lost, or we have content, but it just doesn't fit the aesthetic or vibe of the accounts we need to post to.

This is why I'm so, SO excited to share my new monthly subscription packages with you all. 

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Now, if you know me at all, you know how passionate I am about small and local businesses, and how much I love to support my fellow entrepreneurs. I've had a podcast - That's So Maven! - for two years that is centred on that very subject! (Which you can check out here if you haven't yet!)

The thing that excites me so much about these new monthly subscriptions is that in addition to doing what I love, which I am so damn grateful I get to do every day, I get to help local businesses and organizations thrive and grow on social media by providing them with beautiful, consistent content. 

When you become one of my monthly subscription clients, you're never going to find yourself freaking out about what to post on social media, or throwing together a rushed, impromptu photo shoot with your staff so you have something to put on your website, or in your next e-newsletter again. Instead, you'll have a library of gorgeous photos and video ready to share whenever you want. And remember, photo and video content doesn't have one life - it's content you can revive again and again over time, across all platforms. 

Basically, you're gonna be ready to take over the world.

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Let's dig into the details!

What are the monthly subscription packages?

So glad you asked! There are 3 different packages to choose from. They are:

A. Photography (only 10 spots available)

  • 1 photo shoot per month (2hrs)
  • 35 edited photos (1 a day for social media, extras for special promo, blogs, website, etc.)
  • As many locations/outfits/focuses as we can fit in
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$325/month (+GST)

B. Video (only 5 spots available)

  • 1 shoot per month (4-5 hrs)
  • 4 social media videos (elevated vlog style, formatted and optimized for social media) - things like how tos, Q&As, mini promos work well
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$925/month (+GST)

C. Photo & Video Combo (only 3 spots available)

  • Both packages combined to fully rock social media marketing
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$1000/month (+GST)

What if I'm not sure what content I want/need?

That's what I'm here for! I've been a filmmaker for almost a decade, a photographer for well over a decade, and I worked in social media for 8 years. I know how to create content that will capture your audience's attention. When you sign up for a monthly subscription, we'll work together to make sure you're getting the content you need, and that it's gonna work for you. I want you to come in to each monthly shoot feeling excited and ready to have fun, because that's what's going to shine through in the final photos and video!

Where can I see examples of your work?

You can check out the video and photography sections of my website, where I have a selection of work available for your viewing pleasure (and I'm always updating it, too)!

I'm not in Edmonton. Can we still work together?

You bet! These subscriptions are open to folks in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, and anywhere in between. If you're outside of Edmonton, there's an additional travel fee of $100/month. 

Are you from somewhere even further away but eager to work together? Drop me a line. I'm ready to chat.

I want to become a monthly subscriber! How do I get started?

Get in touch with me! I've got a contract ready to go, and I'm excited to book our first session!

Thank you so much for being here, and if you're as excited about this new offering as I am, do me a favour and share it with the world! I am so grateful for the support.

Boudoir Photography is for Everybody and Every Body / On Body Positivity, Self Love, and Creating Safe Space by Andrea Beça

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DISCLAIMER: Writing this blog post has been a strange and wonderful journey. I thought I could write a really simple post announcing that I have a boudoir marathon coming up, but as I started - and re-started - writing, I kept finding myself diving into a deeper story, and I think that's a clear sign that I needed to dig deeper and say more and share more about myself, my work, and where I'm coming from. 

So if you don't want to read the whole story, scroll down to where you see some photos for details on my upcoming boudoir marathon - the first of what I hope will be many!

And now onto the blog post...

I've always been a huge fan of boudoir and pin-up photography.

My obsession with pin-ups started when I was in my teens and I discovered women like Bettie Page and Jayne Mansfield. I loved the confidence they could exude in a single photograph. I also loved that many of the women I saw in pin-up photos had round bellies and fat rolls and bigger boobs and bums. Because my whole life, I've been bullied for one thing or another, and most of the time, it's been about me being "fat."

I used to REALLY fear the word fat. It haunted me for almost 30 years. It started when I was 5. It's been shouted at me. It's been whispered under my bullies' breath along with cruel laughter. It's been said to me over and over by doctors when I've gone in for issues completely unrelated to my size. It's been implied over and over again by both students and fellow fitness instructors. It's been graffitied on sidewalks alongside my name at junior high. 

It's something I used to run from. I wanted to be ANYTHING but fat. Fat was something I had to strive to be better than, somehow. It's something I had to move past and escape and never utter because heaven forbid it was a word that would EVER be associated with me again. 

(WTAF, right? I know.)

I can't even begin to start to tell you about the journey I've had with self-love and body positivity. I'd need days - no weeks - of your time. (And I'm gonna maybe write about it in a book one day - HINT HINT IF I EVER GET TO IT.) But in a nutshell, I can tell you I've been up and down - through self-loathing, self-harm, disordered eating, sleeping with jerks in an attempt to feel pretty, exercise addiction and obsessive calorie-counting - always trying to fix not myself, but everyone else's definition of me.

Because deep down, at my core, I've always been super down with who I am. I'd say, "sorry if this sounds arrogant," but that's just society's training of me to be a well-behaved and humble woman, so I'm just gonna say it: I'm great! I'm kind, compassionate, smart, talented, and YUP - beautiful, too. I dare say I'm a hottie. People, I'm a catch

And so are you.

But it's so easy to get bogged down. To get caught up in the world telling us we're too fat or skinny, or we're too large-breasted or flat-chested, or we're too weak or too muscular, or we're too queer, or our skin isn't the right colour, or we aren't able-bodied enough, or our names aren't easy enough to pronounce, or, or, or, or...

So I've found self love and I know I'm fab. Do I always feel this way? Hell NO! I've thought I found self love and then realized I was still just trying to please others. I've actually found self love and then lost it from time to time. I've struggled to remember my self love on really, really dark days, or when someone says something that triggers my deepest insecurities. Our relationships with ourselves and our bodies are hugely complicated. There's no switch to flip to make you, me, or anyone feel spectacular all the time. I'd say, "wouldn't that be nice?" but how would we grow if nothing challenged us from time to time? How would we know joy without sorrow? 

In the last 6-12 months, I have been asked so many times about building community and safe space, and how I got so good at it. I was even asked to speak at an event on the subject (shout out to my friend Jocelyn of The Virtual Effect for inviting me!), and to be totally honest, until that moment, it wasn't something I had even considered to be a strong suit of mine, or something I even did.

I agreed to speak, because at that point, it was a question that had come up so frequently, I felt like the universe was finding a way to force me into realizing something, and then think about it. (I've found the universe to be very good at pushing us towards introspection when we really need it...and when we're open to listening.)

Am I a "community builder"? What does that even mean? How do I make people feel so comfortable when they're around me? 

I'm going to try to keep this as short as I can, so I'll just tell you now that I had my realization. It hit me randomly, in between the frantic to-do lists always running through my mind, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I've always been a misfit. I've always been "fat."

And I've spent my entire life doing my absolute best to make sure that no one else ever has to feel that way around me, because I know how much it hurts. 

And for the record, when I say I don't want people to feel "fat," I'm using that word to mean all the hurt, negativity, and shame we feel when we don't fit in, for whatever reason. It's in quotes because it's a concept that, while very real in its impact on me and so many other people in the world, is bullshit.

Fat babes of the world, I see you and love you. Skinny babes of the world, I see you and love you. The bottom line is that no matter who you are, what your size is, your age, the colour of your skin, your gender identity, your disability, your mental health, etc., you are spectacular, beautiful, worthy of love, unconditional acceptance, joy, and happiness. 

Yeah, I'm fat. So what?

How does this all tie into boudoir photography and why am I writing all of this on my work blog?

Like I said, creating safe space is something I always strive to do, and so is promoting diversity and inclusivity. So when I knew I wanted to start offering boudoir photography, and I started to work towards building up some marketing materials and portfolio images, I reached out to friends to be my models. And of course, I ended up with an amazing variety of gorgeous human beings eager to take part. 

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And I also ended up getting way more than I bargained for. In the best way ever. 

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One of my models told me they had had really negative past experiences with boudoir, and that they had chosen to take part in my session because of who I am, and because they felt safe with me and my intentions. 

Another wrote to me days later and said, "You helped me feel beautiful while in a really difficult headspace. I don’t think I could possibly express my gratitude for that."

Another expressed that they felt so powerful and beautiful and couldn't believe that the person in the photos was them. 

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My heart has felt on the cusp of bursting since that day of photo shoots. I am humbled and honoured, and I am so incredibly excited to host my very first official boudoir marathon and continue helping people harness their confidence, find their power, and see themselves as beautiful - in their own eyes, with their own definition, whatever that definition is. 

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THE DETAILS

When is the boudoir marathon happening?

It's on Saturday, June 16!

Who is this boudoir marathon for?

Absolutely anyone who wants boudoir photos.* 

(I've been asked by multiple men if they are allowed to get boudoir photos, and the answer is yes, of course.)

*Unfortunately, the studio I have rented for this particular session is upstairs, and the building does not have an elevator, which does limit some folks from attending. I apologize for this, and promise that I am working on a fully accessible space for next time! 

What is the cost and what is included?

Each session is $425 +GST. This fee includes the following:

  • Professional hair and makeup
  • A glass of wine or kombucha while you're getting pampered
  • A 45-minute photography session (with as many outfit changes as we can fit in reasonably)
  • 7 edited final photos (delivered digitally, with the option of purchasing prints, extra photos, or the entire session)

What time are the sessions?

Photo sessions start at 10am, and happen throughout the day. There are only 10 spots available, so if you want a spot, be sure to snag it soon.

How do I book a session?

Thanks for asking! Click this button for availability and to book your spot:

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Kapow, that's it, that's all. If you read this far, you are a gem, and I truly appreciate it. 

I leave you here for today, feeling incredibly grateful and excited to see you on June 16th.

A.

Dig this post? Do me a favour and share it. Help me spread the word and spread the love. And thank you in advance. 

"Can I pick your brain about..." / On Coffee and Mentorship by Andrea Beça

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Freelancers and coffee - they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Once you go freelance, a lot of your life revolves around coffee, whether you're drinking lots of it to stay fuelled for late nights, spending your work days at various coffee shops to get out of the house, or meeting with clients over a cup of coffee to get business done. 

But somewhere along the line, coffee became misconstrued as a form of payment for freelancers, too. Suddenly, everyone wants to take you for a cup of coffee so that they can "pick your brain" or "get some help" with something - the thing you've made your career. 

It's a tough position to be in, because as freelancers, we're always trying to stay open to new connections and networking that could lead to potential work. But at the same time, we can't afford to spend our lives going out for coffees and giving away free information to people who have no intention of becoming our clients, but require a couple hours of professional consultation and guidance.

Now, if you're reading this and thinking it sounds extreme to say, "spend our lives," I can tell you this: in my own experience as a freelancer who works in multiple media from writing to filmmaking to podcasting and formerly social media, I receive a minimum of two messages a week requesting my knowledge in exchange for coffee. Not too long ago, I received six requests in a single week. On average, I'd say I get 3-4 messages a week from people who want to, "pick my brain."

Do I think all of the folks requesting my time and knowledge are malicious demon-people trying to steal my livelihood away from me? Of course not. And for a long time - almost three years, to be precise - I tried my hardest, often juggled my schedule around, and bent over backwards to say yes to as many of those requests as I could. 

Then I realized I was being a big 'ol hypocrite. A big ol' tired and sometimes frustrated hypocrite. I was always advising my friends and colleagues to make sure they were charging people for their time and knowledge, and always making sure that - aside from volunteer projects where all folks were on the same page about donating their time to something - I was compensating anyone who did any kind of work for me. 

I've learned so much over my last three years of full-time self-employment. So much. One of the most important things I've learned is that client education is a HUGE part of being an entrepreneur. We don't know what we don't know. Nobody does - including me when I am in the role of client rather than freelancer. 

I think there's a much larger conversation to have here about how the arts and creative careers are regarded in the grand scheme of things, but I don't have the time (ha!) or energy to go down that road right now.

Right now, what I want to do is send a love letter to all my fellow freelancers. I see you all. I have deep respect for the time, money, energy, passion, blood, sweat, tears, and years y'all have put into refining your unique skills and crafts. I want to encourage you to stand behind the rates you charge and know that your work is valuable. And I want to give you permission (if you need the nudge) to say no to any project or meeting that doesn't feel like it's in alignment, whatever that means for you.

And I want to reiterate that I don't think anyone who asks a freelancer for free time or free work is a "bad" person. I'm hoping that instead, this blog post will open up the conversation about how we approach and treat freelancers. The next time you start writing an email or a DM to a freelancer to ask them to teach you about something or help you with something over coffee, consider this: would you take your doctor for coffee to discuss your weird mole? Would you invite your personal trainer to coffee to walk you through a workout routine real quick? Would you ask your financial advisor or lawyer to coffee to pick their brain about your next investment, or to help you draft your will?

(Well, you might try, but I can tell you that unless there are some very special circumstances at play - i.e., your mom's your doctor - they're going to say no.)

My name is Andrea Beça. I have a BA in English and Creative Writing and a Master's in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. I have over 10 years of experience as a professional writer, director, and producer, almost 7 years of experience as a filmmaker and editor, and almost 3 years of experience as a podcaster. Storytelling is my life. Creating community is one of my passions. And I would be absolutely thrilled to go for coffee with you to share my knowledge and experience and guide you towards your next project. Please get in touch with me for a customized quote, or visit the Workshops, Training, & Mentorship page for my rates.

(High)Light: A Photo Series by Andrea Beça

As a creative, I often get ideas that I just cannot let go of. Sometimes for months, sometimes for years. (For example, I have multiple theatre and film scripts that have been swimming in my head over over a decade - yes, a DECADE.)

As a creative entrepreneur, my ideas often have to wait until I have a chance to carve out time for them. This year, I'm trying to commit a lot more time to my ideas, because I know when I unleash them, I thrive creatively, spiritually, and emotionally. 

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This shoot was one of those ideas. It's been on my mind for over a year, and I finally had a chance to make it happen with two extremely talented friends - makeup artist Corinne Simpson of VampireNomad Palette and model/actor Rekha Kapadia (whom you may recognize from my short film, nightwalk.)

If you know me, or even if you just follow me on social media, you know I'm obsessed with string lights. I just LOVE them. I love lights and lightbulbs in general, but string lights have a special place in my heart. I thought it would be really fun to play with string lights as the only light source in a shoot, and to play with highlighter to pick up and emphasize that light. 

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In a nutshell, it was a fantastic shoot, and I had as much fun editing these shots as I did taking them. It's been hard to narrow down the selection! I'm sharing a handful now. Keep an eye on my Instagram and photography portfolio for more in the future. 

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I hope you enjoyed looking at these as much as I enjoyed creating them. 

Want to make some magic together? Get in touch with me

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Love this post? Click below to share it far and wide. And thank you in advance for doing so - it means a lot to me. 

DIY Video Workshops in Edmonton by Andrea Beça

I've been getting tons of inquiries about my DIY Video Content and Discoverability workshops here in Edmonton, so I thought I'd pop in and answer some FAQs, as well as tell y'all a little bit more about what goes on at the workshops - and why you need to attend one.

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So, what actually happens at these workshops?

In a three-hour workshop, we'll tackle a lot, including:

  • Choosing the right camera (to suit your budget and needs)
  • Lighting and audio (how to make them better on a budget)
  • Composition and editing (dos and don'ts and quick tips from a professional point of view)
  • Social media strategy for sharing video (spoiler alert: you can't share it once and walk away)
  • Tricks for improving discoverability (how do you actually get your video seen?)

Plus you get to ask me whatever you want in the Q&A at the end. 

Now, some of the most frequently asked questions I've gotten about the workshops:

How much experience do I need to attend a workshop?

You don't need to have any experience with making video to come to this workshop! All you need is a willingness to learn and an interest in developing video content. Chances are you have a smart phone - with a couple small additions/pieces of equipment, you'll be ready to start making video. So please don't feel like you need to have gear and/or experience to sign up.

Remember: this is a workshop on DIY video content. This is simple video content anyone can create. We'll also talk about when you need to hire a professional. It takes years of experience to become a professional.

Will you teach me how to use my camera?

I can definitely teach you how to use a camera...but not in a three-hour workshop. What I will teach you is the basics of composition, and how to choose a camera that's right for you (which may mean using anything from a smart phone to a DSLR). If you'd like to hire me for some one-on-one training to get more comfortable with your camera, contact me directly so we can chat about schedule and pricing. 

Will you teach me how to edit?

Again, folks, editing isn't something you can learn in a three-hour workshop. I mean, yes, I could probably walk you through the basics of editing software in three hours, but...

  1. Everyone uses different editing software, so I'd have to use different vocabulary and instructions for each person
  2. The entire workshop would have to be editing, and I want to give you a more holistic approach to your video content

Also, please remember: shooting and editing aren't things you learn overnight. At the risk of sounding purposefully vague, you may be able to learn how to do them, but it takes a long time to really do them, to find your eye, your style, your voice, etc. 

Or, as photographer Annie Leibovitz puts it (much more eloquently):

"You can have the best equipment and it doesn't help if you can't see. It takes years to understand how to see." 

If you need one-on-one assistance with editing, get in touch with me and we'll talk.

What we will talk about is basic editing tips, things to avoid, editing tricks that will keep your audience happy, and more.

Are you gonna talk about Facebook Live?

You bet! We'll be talking about all different types of video, from edited pieces to Instagram stories and Facebook Live. 

Are you gonna tell me to spend a ton of money on gear?

No. Again, this is about DIY video, not producing feature films. I'm going to tell you about some equipment that will up your game significantly, and show you a bunch of options at different price ranges to attain said equipment.

When is the next workshop? I missed the first one and I REALLY want to attend!

First of all, the next workshop will be announced soon.

But you have another option, too! Have a group of fellow business owners/social media managers/content developers who are interested in making better video? Gather them and book a private training. I have a six person minimum. Once you've got a group of six or more, you can schedule me for a date and location that work best for you. 

Got any other questions? Shoot me a message

And if you really want to do me a solid, pass the word on, too. Share the blog post or invite friends to attend the workshop with you. 

What's in Store for 2018? by Andrea Beça

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Happy New Year, All!

To be honest, it's really hard to believe we're already almost a full week into 2018. The last year has flown by - as they always do, I suppose. 

I want to start out by saying thank you to all of my 2017 clients. I had the opportunity to work on such an amazing variety of projects, from teaming up with Calgary-based company KNG Capital for Tiger Cage...

...to flying out to Vancouver for a week to be a production assistant on upcoming Netflix film, Game Over, Man.

I also won funding from Telus STORYHIVE to make a webseries pilot of Stump Kitchen: Cooking For the Heart

And that's just a small sampling from an amazing year. 

So, what's in store for 2018?

You may have noticed that I relaunched my website - and business - on January 1st. If you take a look through my services offered, you'll notice some significant changes, namely that I have streamlined my business and focused in on filmmaking, photography, and storytelling education.

My focus for 2018 is completely set on helping others share their story with the world, whether that's through creating engaging, effective video content, professional story consulting, or training and workshops. 

What is Story Consulting?

You've got an amazing business/brand/organization/event, but what's the best way to actually reach your audience and share it with them? 

In a story consulting session, we'll sit down and talk about your business, your audience, and the best way to reach them. It's 2018 and the amount of channels and platforms available to businesses is overwhelming. Do you need to be on Instagram? Would a podcast increase your sales? Or should you focus on a YouTube channel?

I'll help you figure it out, form a plan, and connect you with the people who can make it happen.

Training & Workshops

This is something I've been asked for a lot over the last two years, and I'm making it happen in 2018!

Not ready to hire a professional filmmaker, but eager to creative strong video content? Join my upcoming workshop, Ace Your DIY Video Content & Discoverability, on Saturday, February 3 at Homestead Coworking. 

During this three-hour workshop, we'll tackle:

  • Choosing the right camera
  • Lighting and audio
  • Composition and editing
  • Social media strategy for sharing video
  • Tricks for improving discoverability

And more.

Early bird pricing is live from now until January 19, so snap up a ticket while you can! 

Film, Film, and More Film

And of course, I have a lot of very exciting film projects coming up this year, so stay tuned to hear more about those - and to watch them!

That's all for today, folks! I am beyond grateful to be able to do what I love every single day, and I am genuinely beside myself with excitement and anticipation for this year. 

If you love this, do me a favour and click 'Share' below to help me spread the word. And as always, if you're ready to work together or you have any questions about anything mentioned above, you know where to find me!

Three Reasons You Need Video in Your Digital Marketing Strategy by Andrea Beça

I know I've said it before, but I'm saying it again: if your business or organization doesn't have video in its digital marketing strategy yet, you're missing out on a significant opportunity. 

Something I get asked a lot, especially when I'm presenting about social media and storytelling, is, "Why video?"

What makes video so special?

Here are three reasons you need video in your digital marketing strategy, stat.

1. It's engaging.

As a lifelong writer with two degrees in the field, I hate to say it, but words take more time and effort than video. You can convey to your audience in a 90-second video what may take you a short article to explain in words. And you can grab someone's attention much quicker with a strong visual than you can with a headline. (Especially now that we're in the age of brutal clickbait titles for everything.)

The digital space is a busy one. It's teeming with words and ads and info. Getting your story across in a succinct, visually appealing, emotionally gripping way (whether the emotion is excitement, fear, anticipation, romance, etc.) is going to do you good.

2. It's authentic.

Did I mention the digital world is teeming with words? It's also teeming with highly curated, often disingenuous personas that belong to both people and brands. And while yes, you can decorate a fancy set and make your business (or life) seem more sumptuous than it is, it's pretty difficult to fake personality if you're not a highly experienced actor.

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Video is a great way for people to see you - eye to eye - get to know you, and connect with you. And in the age of social media, that face to face connection can be absolutely priceless. I think that the authenticity of that behind-the-scenes glimpse into a business, brand, or organization is what really captures people's attention - and hearts.

3. It's effective.

The bottom line is, videos works for you. Social media algorithms love it, and, as a matter of fact, favour it. And it's been proven again and again that it gets a lot more engagement than written words or even photography. (And keep in mind that these stats are on the rise...at a rapid pace.)

Ready to start creating killer video content to up your digital marketing game in 2018, but not sure where to start? Check out my Five Tips for Great Video Content. Before you panic, know this: you don't have to kick things off with a giant film production. Start with a goal, and then figure out what steps you need to take to crush it.

Ready to collaborate with a professional to achieve your video goals? Get in touch.

 

Thanks for reading! Love this article? Hit the "share" button below to spread the word.

Five Common Misconceptions About Video by Andrea Beça

Video content is master of the internet right now. It's eye-catching, engaging, and effective. (Well, when it's done right, it is.) But over the last couple years running my business, I've also discovered that there are many misconceptions about video that create barriers for people interested in harnessing its digital marketing power. 

So let's talk about five of the most common misconceptions I've encountered concerning video content:

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1. It's Untouchable / "I don't even know where to start."

I hear this a lot. "Oh, I love the videos __________ posts on their social media, but I have no clue how to make them." 

Anyone can develop video content. If you're feeling intimidated, start simple and try out Facebook Live. Get online, engage your audience, give them useful information pertaining to your business and explore how that impacts your reach and engagement. The more you experiment, the more you'll hone in on what works and doesn't work. You may discover a certain type of video your audience loves that surprises you (e.g., a live unboxing of new stock), and you may also discover that it's time to produce some polished, professional videos to build business. Your audience holds the gold: if you can find out what they want and provide it, you're set for success. So don't be afraid to ask them what they'd like to see from your business, brand, or organization.

2. Anyone Can Do It / "My friend just bought a camera - I don't need to hire a professional."

Notice that in the previous paragraph, I said, "anyone can develop video content," and not, "anyone can develop great video content" - meaning engaging, effective, and successful video content. Yes, you can absolutely get your friend to shoot your next video. But that doesn't mean it's going to be good. 

Do you always need to hire a professional? No. Should you usually hire a professional? Yes. Even if you don't have the budget to hire a professional to develop, shoot, and edit your video, you can hugely benefit from paying one for an hour of consulting to learn how to make the most of the equipment you have, how to improve composition, how to affordably record great audio, etc.

(Hint: I'm available for these types of consultation, as well as one-on-one and group training. So don't hesitate to get in touch.)

3. It's All About Equipment / "I can't create video content because I don't have an expensive camera, a production studio, etc."

I'm a professional filmmaker, and I'm telling you, equipment isn't everything. You can have tens of thousands of dollars' worth of the latest gear and still make crappy films and video. Or you can have an iPhone and a couple extra tools and make an award-winning film, like Tangerine

Filmmaking is a skill. Actually, it's many skills that work together to create a final product - from writing and pre-production to shooting to editing. When you hire a professional (whether it's an individual or a team), you're getting a lot more than an expensive camera. An expensive camera can't save someone who knows nothing about composition. And no equipment on the planet can save someone who has no idea how to tell a story. Again, if you're not ready for a full-fledged professionally made video, consider consultation if you need help, but don't let your brand of camera (or smartphone) stop you from getting started.

4. Length of Video = Length of Shoot / "It's only a 30-second ad - it should take 30 seconds to shoot, and it should be cheap."

This is something I encounter almost weekly. The quickest way for me to respond is, "You know how Super Bowl commercials are (in)famous for costing millions of dollars?" 

A video could be 30 seconds long and feature 10 different locations, hundreds of extras, and a ton of special effects. Consider the content before you start drawing conclusions about how much of a professional's time you'll need. You may not be making a Super Bowl commercial, but how many different locations are you envisioning? What types of props, costumes, and people are necessary? And don't forget, editing happens after your shoot, and can be the biggest job of all. 

Bring your ideas to a pro. They'll give you a quote. If it's out of your current budget, you can either start saving up, or ask them what's possible within your budget. Because there are always options, and a professional will always be ready to present those options to you if you're open to hearing them.

5. Professional Video is Too Expensive / "I can't afford to hire a professional for a single video."

I'm not going to sugar coat things for you all: professional video content is an investment. You're not going to get strong video content for $100. That being said, if you're working with a professional, part of the process should be making sure that you're getting the right type of video, and that the content of it will serve you for a desired time period. I have clients who have been using their company profile videos for over a year already, and those videos are still bringing them a steady stream of new business. Would your marketing budget for a couple years be $100? I sure hope not! 

 The best type of feedback to get from a client! Watch Andrea's video   here  .

The best type of feedback to get from a client! Watch Andrea's video here.

What I'm saying here is this: like many, many other things, professional video is something that requires an upfront investment before you start seeing a return on that investment (though once it's released, that return can happen very quickly). And yes, if you're a small business, brand, or organization, you may need to save up before you can make your first one. But having content that lives for years, tells your story in a beautiful and effective way, and (in a sense) works for you to attract new business is absolutely worth it.

Ready to create amazing video content? Looking for consultation or training? You know where to find me.

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